#186: Shawn Naylor, DO- Reducing Joint Pain & Improving Mobility w/ Prolotherapy

by Deanna Mutzel, DC




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Mike Mutzel Podcast High Intensity Health

About Shawn Naylor, DO

Dr. Naylor completed his undergraduate training in human physiology in 2001 at McGill University in Montreal. He earned his medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine California in 2005. This was followed by a traditional rotating internship and residency training in Family Medicine at St Anthony Hospital in Denver, CO. He has completed more than seven hundred hours of continuing education training, mainly in Osteopathic Manipulation, Functional Medicine, Prolotherapy, Neuraltherapy, Ozonotherapy and Autonomic Response Testing. Additionally, Dr Naylor has been an instructor in prolotherapy, and is a member of the American Academy of Ozonotherapy, The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society and the American Osteopathic Association. He is a clinical preceptor for Rocky Vista College of Osteopathic Medicine and a is affiliated with Rose Medical Center.


Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation

Show Notes


01:59 What is Prolotherapy: It is the use of an injection to cause the proliferation of connective tissues, to enhance the structural integrity of something that was weak, loose, unstable or damaged.

02:27 Benefits from Needle Trauma: Just the trauma of using the needle causes some regeneration. Early studies found that injections of both saline and dextrose were both effective. In prolotherapy, the needle is used to create some trauma, making it bleed. This causes an inflammatory response that recruits fibroblasts to lay down new collagen and return the area to close to pre-injury condition.

04:27 Formerly Sclerotherapy or Scar Therapy: About 60 or 70 years ago, when prolotherapy first started, the pioneers thought they were creating scarring. However, ligaments don’t heal that way. A ligament that has healed is indistinguishable under a microscope, from a healthy ligament.

05:55 NSAIDs/ Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs: When you are injured, an inflammatory response is triggered, creating a cascade of events that plays out over 6 to 8 weeks or so. If you block the inflammation in the early stages, the amount of healing response will be diminished. The use of NSAIDs can be detrimental to long-term healing. NSAIDs have been shown to increase the probability of non-union fractures. The same principals are probably true for ligaments and use should be avoided. They should be avoided after prolotherapy also. Tylenol (as well as opiates) is an analgesic and does not affect the immune response in the same way.

09:26 Tissues that Benefit from Prolotherapy: Nearly any joint can painful from an injury to soft tissue, so nearly any joint is amenable. There is a renewed interest in putting solution into the joint where cartilage is to improve vitality to that tissue. It is nearly a root cause resolution of joint pain. Cartilage gets worn down with movement and mostly recovers at night. A small shift, like weight loss, can make sure that you do not lose more than you are rebuilding.

13:12 Injection Materials and Anesthetics: Different prolotherapy providers use different solutions. Injecting platelet-rich plasma or stem cells are different solutions used in the same manner. A local anesthetic is used, most often lidocaine or procaine. Dr. Naylor prefers procaine, which is metabolized more quickly into an amino acid and is non-toxic. He also uses two homeopathics, Traumeel and Zeel in almost all injections. He uses B12 and dextrose in varying quantities. Low amounts of dextrose possibly causes an immunomodulatory effect.

19:24 Neurotherapy Injections: These injections are mainly superficial, into the skin. It can be effective in treating whiplash and traumatic brain injuries. Using nothing more than the local anesthetic, there have been very good results. During treatment, the anesthetic can have a significant neuromodulatory effect. In the setting of an injury, you get upregulation of substance P that helps to perpetuate the pain of the injury. Just having a little relief from the pain from the anesthetic may downregulate the substance P or cause some other neuromodulatory response.

21:58 Prolozone Therapy: More caustic agents were sometimes used to get a more effective inflammatory response. Ozone lends itself well to prolotherapy. It is inexpensive and easy to get and make, using an ozone generator and an oxygen tank. It has some antimicrobial properties. It enhances oxygen utilization. Tissues can make energy with glycolysis, which results in the formation of lactic acid. The more efficient way to make energy is oxidative phosphorylation. It involves your mitochondria and results in the formation of carbon dioxide. Cells that are inflamed are more desperate and tend toward the quicker glycolysis. Connective tissues don’t get much blood, so it is challenging to carry away lactic acid and challenging to bring in more oxygen or glucose. Cells that are exposed to ozone have a robust and long lasting uptick in oxygen utilization.

28:22 The Role of Memory in Neurotherapy: Memory is a large part of whiplash and surgical scars. Surgeons do not generally use local anesthetic. When we are under general anesthesia, our basal ganglia (our ancient lizard brain) is still fairly conscious and probably traumatized by the surgery, especially the incision where your pain receptors are. A study showed that people used less opiates after surgery if local anesthetic was used before the incision was made. This probably applies to long term pain as well. You can erase the memory of that trauma after the fact by anesthetizing the surgical scar. This scar memory can also create referred pain. Sometimes injections for hernia, C-section and appendectomy scars relieve back pain.

33:09 Trigger Points: Trigger points are more mainstream. These injections are typically into the middle of a muscle, looking for referred pain that is noticeable when that muscle belly is palpated. It is an intramuscular injection with the prolo solution and anesthetics. Trigger point therapy allows muscles to relax, release lactic acid and return to baseline.

36:20 Where to Find a Prolotherapy Practitioner:  The American Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (AAOM) is a resource for you, as well is the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation. Dr. Naylor gets referrals from the American Academy of Ozonotherapy (AAOT).

37:51 Dr. Naylor’s Favorite Herb or Botanical: He recommends a great deal of apo-Hepat to his patients. It is a German homeopathic that is designed to help remove toxins.

39:11 Dr. Naylor’s Morning Routine: He would like to have a morning routine, but he has children. He and his wife have the same smoothie every morning. It contains a vegetable based protein with greens in it, frozen berries and a Greek yogurt. They also drink Bulletproof coffee. His body likes fatty foods/drinks.

40:57 Optimizing Prolotherapy: Listen to your body more. If it hurts, your body is trying to tell you something. Try not to do things that make it hurt. You are what you eat, so take bone meal protein instead of taking calcium to help repair structures in your body. Eat clean real food.

43:29 Dr. Naylor’s Elevator Pitch: Consumption of sugar and high fructose corn syrup can bankrupt the country with healthcare expenses. We are not evolved to consume anywhere near the quantities that we consume. We could put a large tax high fructose corn syrup and sugar before it goes into your food.


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